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Glovebox Moments: Flexibility for Today’s Workforce

Check out the latest "Glovebox Moments” episode presented by Miriam & Tom of “HR in the Car.” Tom breaks down the ins and outs of implementing flexibility options for today’s workforce.

Hi, I'm Miriam Dushane and this is Tom Schin. Welcome to Glovebox Moments brought to you by "HR in the Car". So, Tom, we hear a lot about flex hours, summer hours, flexible schedules, the four day work week, all of those things. And it's the trendy thing to talk about right now. I think the work-life balance piece of a person and an organization is just so top of mind. So if a company wants to do something, how would you guide them in things that they should think about before they put anything into place?

I think it's a timely issue, number one. But beyond that, my recommendation is look at it as if you're starting from scratch. Think about what is possible, so that way you're not thinking about oh, we've always done it this way in following these rigid policies that were written 30 years ago or conceived a century ago. So think about what could be possible as far as what your workforce is doing. That includes thinking about the nature of your business. Not everybody's going to be able to have that flexible schedule right. If you're in a clinical setting, patients need care 24-7. Those kind of things you can't work around. But for a portion of your population maybe it can, like finance. There's other departments that may not have that strict kind of locked in, "my work has to be done between nine and five," right. They have that flexibility where, as long as it gets done by Friday, end of business, right. Exactly! I can take care of it. So those are those flexible options of what's possible versus what needs to happen in the course of business. Retail, obviously you've got hours, you know, 11 to the 7 or whatever.

The other piece that I recommend that you pay attention to is creating a buffer, expectations, guardrails as you call it right. You can also call this a pilot, so that you're not locked in forever. This is a little bit of trial and error, because there's trust that goes into building with your people. They are going to use this new program, if it's new or revised. Somebody may break it right. It's sad to say, somebody may take advantage and you have to prepare for that. It's going to happen one way or another. Maybe a small amount or maybe a big amount where somebody's just fibbing through their teeth. But be prepared for that. Set some guidelines and expectations. This works, this doesn't. If you have some things where they need to be on call, let them know. "Look, your cell phone needs to be on the email signature & your clients need to know you're available, and you need to respond. So if I call you, you better answer the phone." Exactly. And I would also say if one person does take advantage, use that as a way to build that guideline or the buffer, not just shut it down because one person took advantage. Right, it's not like grade school, where Tommy was talking too much in class. Like always.

So thanks so much for joining us today. For more information, please go to, check out the "HR in the Car" Podcast, and we'll talk again real soon. Take care.

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